Although he has just turned 41, Roger Federer has no intention of quitting. The last two seasons have been particularly difficult for the King, forced to deal with a serious problem in his right knee. The former world number 1 played just 13 official matches in 2021, collecting nine wins and four losses.
After being knocked out by Hubert Hurkacz at the 2021 Championships, the Maestro decided to have knee surgery for the third time in 18 months. Barring further setbacks, the Swiss champion will return to the field at the Laver Cup next month.
Roger will close his very short season at the ATP in Basel, back on the calendar after the last two editions had been canceled due to the pandemic. In a recent interview with the ‘New York Post’, Andy Roddick revealed why he has always struggled against Federer.
Suffice it to say that the Swiss won in 21 of the 24 direct matches, to which is added an 8-0 balance in the Grand Slams (4-0 in the finals).
Roddick on facing Roger Federer
“It was just a rough matchup,” Roddick said.
“There wasn’t much that I did well naturally that Roger Federer couldn’t counter naturally. Even against Rafa [Nadal], I knew my first serve would bother him. I knew that I had a little bit more power through the court.
And similarly to Roger [Federer] and Rafa, that matchup is more difficult on Roger because of the lefty and the spins. Roger forced me out of my comfort zone consistently.” The 39-year-old touched on one of those Slam finals losses — at the 2006 US Open.
“[The 2006 US Open] was fun ’cause I just started working with Jimmy Connors. And so there was a bit of hype around that partnership,” Roddick said. “I had played pretty bad throughout that year except I kinda caught a little bit of form in the tournament in Cincinnati which is the biggest lead-in tournament and won that, and it kinda turned my entire year around.
I was really happy and relieved to play well there, obviously lost to Roger [Federer] in the final,” Roddick said. “But I really enjoyed working with Jimmy and getting his advice on how to use the New York crowd. I don’t know that there was anyone ever better at that than him.”
Andy also recalled the 2009 Wimbledon final: “That’s the match that I get asked most about. I say everyone has that Starbucks moment in their athletic career, and that’s the Starbucks moment where you see a stranger, they ask you about it,” Roddick said. “The only thing that I would really change is the result, and winning two more points one of five times.”